Mayor Lenny Curry encouraged the public to prepare for the effects of Hurricane Matthew and announced the that Duval County schools will be closed Thursday and Friday.
He said that all after-school activities are canceled Wednesday through the weekend but extended day will continue operating as usual for Wednesday.
He also issued an evacuation order for Atlantic, Neptune and Jacksonville Beach. The evacuation also includes residents in low lying areas.
Baptist Medical Center Beaches in Jacksonville Beach was being evacuated Wednesday afternoon and patients will be taken either to Baptist Medical Center South or Baptist Medical Center Downtown. Patients' caregivers will remain the same and they will go with them.
Officers will be assisting traffic to make sure it is flowing from the coastal areas.
"Do what you need to prepare. When kids get back from school then that would be the time to prepare," said Curry. "There's no need to be afraid. Just be prepared."
There will not be public safety employees at the beaches to assist people if an emergency occurs.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office will work with the public on evacuation routes, Curry said.
The St. Johns Ferry will be shut down Friday and the Skyway will be discontinued on Friday.
Garbage will not be picked up Friday, but will be on Saturday.
Curry said for the public to expect power outages and that JEA will restore power when it is safe to do so.
He also reminded the public to have water and food ready.
"If you know your neighborhood and you know your home, then I would just pack and be prepared," Curry said.
Cox Media Group